ENTREPRENEUR-YOU VENTURE FUNDING AWARDED TO NINE WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES
A crowd of about 75 people witnessed the business pitches of 15 women at Walsh College today in the second annual Entrepreneur-YOU competition for $75,000 in venture funding donated by Huntington Bank, The Ford Motor Company Fund and The Kellogg Foundation.
Winners were selected by a panel of judges including Nancy Phillippart, general partner of Belle Michigan; Maria Thompson, founder of T/J Technologies and executive-in-residence of Arsenal Venture Partners; Sonali Vijayavargia, founder and managing director Augment Ventures; Beverly Wall, CEO, Languages International; and Mallory Sharpe of The Ford Motor Company Fund.
The competitors were grouped in three categories – Lifestyle companies; social mission companies and high growth companies. More than 150 ventures were submitted to the competition, reviewed by business professionals, who selected the 15 finalists. The finalists prepared written business plans and presented a four-minute pitch before the judges in today’s final competition.
Following are the winners and their prizes:
1st place Garden Hoard, Katie Flickinger, Livonia $10,000
2nd place Ribbon Farms Hops, Susan McCabe, Detroit $7,500
3rd place Teatroiter, Kristen Pfeifer, Dearborn $5,000
1st place CentriCycle, Jenna Boeing, Ann Arbor $10,000
2nd place Play Place for Autistic Children, Shell Jones, Sterling Heights $7,500
3rd place SEVA Corp. Shwetha Maddur, Novi $5,000
1st ENT BioTech Solutions, Andrea Roumell Dickson, Detroit $15,000
2nd place Opti 02, Ruby Ghosh, Okemos $10,000
3rd place AdAdapted, Molly McFarland, Ann Arbor $5,000
The third annual Entrepreneur-YOU education conference is scheduled for Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the Walsh College Troy Campus. Visit www.thewalshinstitute.com/eyou for more information.
Finalist names and descriptions.
Three of the five contestants in each category will be awarded funds from Huntington Bank, and The Ford Motor Company Fund.
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2012 Competition Winners
Capturing first place and winning $15,000 plus in-kind support was Ann Arbor resident Angelique Johnson, interim CEO and CTO of MEMStim LLC. Her company developed a fully automated manufacturing process for electrode lead production employing nanofabrication of thin films. MEMStim LLC intends to disrupt the neurostimulator market with a new automated nanofabrication manufacturing method to replace hand-assembly.
“My company is focused on implantable nerve stimulators to replace lost nerve function. Our intent is to treat conditions such as chronic pain, hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease,” said Johnson.
Johnson, who recently earned her PhD in electrical engineering, is the inventor of MEMStim's patent-pending technology. She has 10 years of experience working on bridging the gap between research-based devices and biocompatible neurostimulation devices. To view a short video of Angelique please click here.
Second place went to Susan Land Sprentall of Wixom, who received $10,000 and in-kind support. Her company, SurClean, Inc. has developed disruptive technology to selectively remove paint and other surface coatings from multiple types of surfaces. SurClean's proprietary system represents the next generation of surface coating removal. Sprentall is CEO and owner of American Laser Enterprises, providing manufacturing and technical engineering services to laser equipment OEMs, system integrators, distributors, and end users. She is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of extensive technical sales and marketing experience as well as 13 years in the laser industry.
“Laser technology is an exciting field and developing the SurClean product is rewarding since we are not only reducing cost, but eliminating hazardous waste while creating a safe environment for the operator,” said Sprentall. “Placing in this competition helps build credibility with the investment community knowing our business plan has been vetted by a reputable group of business leaders.” To view a short video of Susan please click here.
Winning third place in the Entrepreneur-YOU competition and receiving $5,000 plus in-kind support was Angela McCommons. Her company, Kids Kruiser LLC is a premium transportation service; serving youth ages 3 - 18 in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas of Southeastern Michigan. Kids Kruiser was established to provide a safe, reliable, child-friendly transportation service for young children and teens, and alleviate this growing stressor for parents and their children. McCommons, president and sole owner of Kids Kruiser, has professional experience at Chrysler Group LLC in problem solving, quality control and manufacturing resident engineering, as well as consulting her self-employed husband in growing his successful barber business. To view a short video of Angela please click here.
Highlights from the 2013 Entrepreneur-YOU Conference
SOLD OUT FOR THE SECOND YEAR!
Walsh Leadership Center Sponsors
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Benefit Review Services
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